By Guest Blogger: Julie Smith
Training with this team has been such a blessing in my life. I’ve created some amazing friendships and I’m thankful for this dream team. As I like to say (and so does Coach,) “Team work makes the dream work.” That’s a powerful statement when you think about Isabella’s dreams to #beatgrowlive. Despite the fact that cancer stole her from us, we can make those dreams come true for other children fighting cancer today.
This weekend the team ran the OrthoCarolina 10k and it was my first time running that specific race. It was challenging, but I’m glad we got to experience it all together.
We lined up for the start and the team was chatting, cracking jokes, taking selfies and getting pumped to run. I loved having people there to experience the race together. Kelly and I took off and we’ve been “pace partners” for the last year. Meaning, we run together. She pushes me, I push her. As Kelly says I’m her “stuff.” She doesn’t run with music or anything to track her distance/speed, so when we run together I keep her from running too fast early on, and encourage her to the finish while she does the same for me. This race was no different.
We crossed the start line and we remind each other that slow and steady wins the race. We’ve read about runners that go out way too fast and don’t have enough in them at the end to finish well. We made the first turn and then the first hill was upon us, so we remind each other to take small steps, not look too far ahead and we push through it together. Side by side. Sometimes we need to remind each other about those running mechanics, but really it’s knowing that the other person is there, cheering us on. I can’t let her down.
As others dream teamers run by, we cheer them on and give some high-fives. We know that we are running together, but also on a purpose much bigger than this 6.2 miles. We are running to crush cancer.
The hills continue throughout the course and we stick together. Towards the end, we are both tired and we are fighting to keep going. We encourage each other with random phrases, mostly me singing T Swift or talking about the food at the finish, and then we come in at the last tenth of a mile and we hear it– the dream team cheering us on. There’s a whole group of the team in purple, clapping, yelling and cheering for us as we push to the finish.
Team work makes the dream work.
P.S. Photos courtesy of Kelly C.